French Cinema’s Trite Abyss
Climax is a Gaspar Noé mystery thriller where the only mystery is how the director is able to secure financing for his pseudo-nihilistic garbage and the only thrill is anticipating when it will finally end.
The plot of the film, if we can call it that, is what happens when a multicultural dance troupe’s sangria is dosed with what must be at least five gallons of potent liquid LSD. It’s not pretty, a nightmarish motion picture Hieronymus Bosch hellscape set to pulsing electronica and the mental ravings of a writer-director yet to outgrow his adolescent misreadings of Nietzsche. Sprinkled throughout are sets of random Godardian credit sequences and flashes of full-screen text inserts. One of these inserts reads: “A French film and proud of it.” Be forewarned though that this is not the France of the Louvre or the La Belle Époque. Rather, it’s the France of the Rassemblement National: the film’s sole Muslim is ejected from the party only to expire in the snowstorm outside and the Afro-French characters are either incestuous perverts or lecherous and brutal, racially antagonistic anti-white fetus kickers. What a stupid movie.
Though the film is a putrid sink of soulless European debauchery and vacuous thematic material it is presented in a stimulating and half artful visual and auditory style. The dance scenes in particular are fun to watch in their abrasive color and movement. The demonic, busy soundscape of the hellish and hallucinatory climactic scene is truly haunting. Even the floating, balletic long Steadicam tracking shots that weave their way through all the madness are intriguing. None of this, however, is enough to save the film from its senselessly disturbing content and risible stabs at philosophy.
Climax is kicks for les enfants terribles. Those people should grow up.